I have many clients emotionally scarred from relationships that ended with infidelity, an affair, unfaithfulness, cheating, adultery or whatever you want to call it. Most of the time they struggle to understand why it happened, how it happened and whether or not it could have been avoided. From the perspective of someone who has never cheated, it seems unthinkable. From the perspective of someone who has cheated, it may seem like anything but. Here are the top five reasons why men and women cheat.
5. They are insecure. There are few things in this world more gratifying than being desired by someone. The validation we get from this is hard to match. Often one strays from a relationship because they are anxious and restless in the situation they are in. They require stimulation and constant attention to calm their nerves. Even a terrific partner can be helpless in this situation.
4. They are unsatisfied. Even men and women with a healthy appetite for sex are frequently unsatisfied. Despite their best effort to stay focused and faithful to one person they find themselves wanting more than what they have. They feel deserving of a more-than-adequate sex life and will even stray with no intentions of jeopardizing their relationship just to get enough satisfaction that they need.
3. They are insatiable. Hypersexual people don’t always meet their match. Even when their partner performs more than they want to this individual is still hungry for sex. Their thirst for sexual gratification can never be quenched and they will be incapable of maintaining a healthy relationship until they are able to deal with their addiction.
2. They are sociopaths. By definition this person lacks a conscience. Even if they may seem capable of empathy, they are merely acting and are always looking out for their own best interests. Sociopaths are master manipulators because they are more deceiving than narcissists. A narcissist may be completely unaware of their inability to feel. They deny remorse or gratitude. Sociopaths can seem to feel bad and can pretend to be grateful or remorseful, but they most certainly are not.
And the number one reason why men or women cheat, is because…
1. They want out. Because cheating is the ultimate show of disrespect and one of the most difficult things to forgive someone for, it is by far the easiest way to end a relationship. What’s there to talk about? Could you have driven them away? Possibly, but what difference does it make? Clearly this person is insecure, unsatisfied, insatiable, or sociopathic. Isn’t it also clear that they whether they want to admit it or not, they want out of the relationship?
Ultimately I beg my clients not to blame themselves. Either you acknowledge that you trusted and respected someone you shouldn’t have, or you accept the fact that they were too insecure or too self-centered to be in a relationship with you or anyone else. What you should never do is blame yourself.